Mei Shen's directory photo.

Mei Shen

Assistant Professor

Primary Affiliation

Neurotechnology for Memory and Cognition


Status Part-time Faculty

Home Department of Chemistry

Phone 300-3587


Address 2121 Beckman Institute, 405 North Mathews Avenue

  • Biography

    Mei Shen is an assistant professor in the Department of Chemistry. Her primary affiliation is Neurotechnology for Memory and Cognition. She is affiliated with Extracellular Vesicle Imaging and Therapy. She is also an assistant professor for Beckman Institute for Advanced Science and Technology, Bioengineering, and Center for Biophysics and Quantitative Biology.


    • Ph.D., University of Texas at Austin, 2011

  • Honors
    • 2021: ACS Arthur F. Findeis Award for Achievements by a Young Analytical Scientist

    • 2020-2021: Scialog Fellow on Microbiome, Neurobiology and Disease

    • 2019: NSF CAREER award

    • 2019: Award for Excellence in Guiding Undergraduate Research, Office of the Provost, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

    • 2019: NSF CHE Early Career investigator workshop travel award

    • 2013-2017: NIH Exploratory/Developmental Research Grant Award

    • 2011: Professional Development Award at University of Texas at Austin

    • 2007: Lochte Fellowship at University of Texas at Austin

  • Research

    Research areas:

    • Analytical chemistry

    • Nanoscience

    • Electrochemistry

    • Neuroscience

    Research interests:

    • Nanoelectrochemistry

    • Bioanalytical chemistry

    • Neurotransmission

    • Neurological disorders

    • Gut-brain axis

    • Toxicology

    • High spatiotemporal neurotransmitter detection

    • Ion selective electrodes

    • Somatic and synaptic neurotransmission

    • Scanning electrochemical microscopy

    The research in the Shen lab interfaces between state of art ultra-high resolution nano-electroanalytical chemistry and neurobiology. The main theme of Shen research program is to interrogate chemical, spatial and temporal heterogeneity in biomaterials using chemically-specific nanosensor probes. Currently their efforts are geared towards detecting neurotransmitter release and uptake in/near the synaptic cleft for both electrochemical active and non-active neurotransmitters. Specifically, they are interested in the following research areas:

    Develop nanosensor probes for the multifunctional detection of Neurotransmitters.

    Electroanalytical chemistry has been playing a critical role in studying neurotransmission. Non-redox active neurotransmitters, despite their importance in memory and health, remains largely unexplored. This is due to lack of suitable sensor probes for their detection. Shen lab is developing novel sensor probes that can be used to detect non-redox active neurotransmitters (such as Acetylcholine) employing multi-disciplinary toolsets such as Nanotechnology, Electrochemistry, Interfacial Chemistry. The detection is based on ion transfer across a nanoscopic interfaces between two immiscible electrolyte solutions (ITIES). Besides, these sensor probes developed in the Shen lab can be used to detect redox active neurotransmitters as well.

    Nanometer-resolution imaging of biological processes at single & nano-biostructures.

    Studying neurotransmission at single nano-biostructures have been challenges facing scientists for many years. This is due to limitation in available probes and platforms for performing such measurements as well as resolve the technical challenges set by the size of nanostructures, i.e. synaptic cleft typically has size less than 100nm. Shen lab is employing nanoITIES electrode sensor probes, and nano-resolution Scanning Electrochemical Microscopy imaging platform, to study neurotransmission at this technically challenging yet biologically critical region, Synaptic Cleft.

  • 2022

    • Anupriya, E. S., & Shen, M. (2022). New Method in Surface Treatment of Nanopipette for Interface between Two Immiscible Electrolyte Solutions (ITIES) Experiment. Journal of the Electrochemical Society, 169(4), [046501].
    • Cabana, J., Alaan, T., Crabtree, G. W., Hatzell, M. C., Manthiram, K., Steingart, D. A., Zenyuk, I., Jiao, F., Vojvodic, A., Yang, J. Y., Balsara, N. P., Persson, K. A., Siegel, D. J., Haynes, C. L., Mauzeroll, J., Shen, M., Venton, B. J., Balke, N., Rodríguez-López, J., ... Hattrick-Simpers, J. (2022). NGenE 2021: Electrochemistry Is Everywhere. ACS Energy Letters, 7(1), 368-374.
    • Jetmore, H. D., Anupriya, E. S., Cress, T. J., & Shen, M. (2022). Interface between Two Immiscible Electrolyte Solutions Electrodes for Chemical Analysis. Analytical Chemistry, 94(48), 16519-16527.
    • Milton, C. B., Xu, K., & Shen, M. (2022). Recent advances in nanoelectrochemistry at the interface between two immiscible electrolyte solutions. Current Opinion in Electrochemistry, 34, [101005].
    • Xu, P., Muhamad Rapidi, H. I., Ahmed, S., Abel, D. K., Garcia, K. J., Chen, R., Iwai, N. T., & Shen, M. (2022). PEDOT/PVC-modified amperometric carbon electrodes for acetylcholine detection. Chemical Communications, 58(95), 13218-13221.